HARPURSVILLE, NY (WATE) – “Today is not the day to stop watching,” Animal Adventure Park owner Jordan Patch said Tuesday morning on Good Morning America. “We are there. We are close. All signs are go.”
Millions of people have kept track of the progression of April the giraffe’s pregnancy. The Harpursville, New York, animal park first posted a live stream of April in February. Since then, the mother-to-be has become a viral sensation.
Fortunately for viewers who have waited for months to see the birth, Patch tells ABC News the birth should be relatively quick.
“Once we are in full labor it’s a quick process,” Patch said. “It can be 30 to 60 minutes before we have a calf on the ground.”
What to expect when April’s baby is born
How big will the newborn be once it’s born?
Zoo Knoxville says when a baby giraffe is born they are at least six feet tall and 150 pounds. They don’t reach their full height until they about three or four years old.
How has the zoo prepared for her birth?
Zoo Knoxville says in the wild giraffes give birth standing up so the baby drops about six feet to the ground.
Usually, zookeepers and veterans work with giraffes for years to prepare them for birth by getting them used to technology and devices used during the delivery process to keep the baby and the mother safe. Sometimes they use a restraint device (GRD), which keeps giraffes in place for ultrasounds and delivery in case of emergencies.
When do giraffes start to walk?
It only takes about 30 minutes to an hour after birth for a calf to start standing and walking. Their mobility is necessary for them to be able to nurse from their mother. Within the first day, they are expected to run.
What’s in the baby’s diet? And how long do they nurse from their mothers?
As previously mentioned, a newborn giraffe begins nursing from his mother shortly after birth. After four months, they start eating solid food like leaves and continue nursing for 9 to 12 months. Weaning ages vary 6 to 17 months.
What are some other fun facts about giraffes?
- There are 9 subspecies of giraffe, the most common being the Rothschild’s.
- Giraffes are herbivores with diets mostly consisting of leaves
- They only need to drink water once every few days since they are hydrated by the leaves.
- Giraffes eat approximately 75 pounds of food each day
- They only need 30 minutes to two hours of sleep per day
- Giraffes can defend themselves from scary predators like lions with their strong-hooved feet, but it doesn’t seem like April’s baby will ever find herself in this situation.
- They can run at speeds up to 35 miles per hour
- Giraffes are the world’s tallest mammals, standing up to 20 feet tall.
You can follow April’s birth journey on the Animal Adventure Park’s live feed linked here.